The president is mounting so many Twitter assaults in opposition to the press that it’s a bit laborious to maintain up.
Nonetheless, I shall endeavor to investigate them, understanding full nicely he’ll have some new ones up earlier than you learn this.
There has of late been a melding of two of his favourite targets, the Mueller investigation and the fourth property, which Donald Trump apparently views as reinforcing one another. And in addition to, he doesn’t want a lot of an excuse to whack the press (or have interaction in counterpunching, as he likes to view it).
So right here’s a snapshot, beginning with the primary of a number of Trump tweets from yesterday:
“Not that it issues however I by no means fired James Comey due to Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media likes to maintain pushing that narrative, however they know it’s not true!”
The context: The president was reacting to a New York Occasions story a couple of confidential memo by fired FBI deputy Andrew McCabe, saying Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein had instructed him that Trump requested him to say Russia in his letter urging that Comey be canned.
The scorecard: Russia was an element, by the president’s personal account.
Trump instructed NBC’s Lester Holt quickly after the firing that he was going to dump Comey “no matter advice” by Rosenstein. “And in reality once I determined to only do it, I mentioned to myself, I mentioned you realize, this Russia factor with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it is an excuse by the Democrats for having misplaced an election that they need to have received.”
The tweet: “The corrupt Mainstream Media is working time beyond regulation to not point out the infiltration of individuals, Spies (Informants), into my marketing campaign! Surveillance a lot?”
The context: There’s a semantic debate within the press over whether or not the FBI’s informant in 2016, an American professor in London, was a spy infiltrating the Trump camp or simply doing his job in opposition to potential Russian intelligence-gathering.
The scorecard: The existence of the FBI informant who spoke to 3 Trump marketing campaign advisers was revealed by the “failing New York Occasions,” and sparked countless tales and segments. So it’s not true that the media aren’t mentioning it—they only aren’t doing it within the “Spygate” phrases that the president would like.
The tweet: “Iger, the place is my name of apology? You and ABC have offended tens of millions of individuals, and so they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, but no apology. Double Normal!”
The context: It is a continuation of Trump’s criticism of Disney CEO Bob Iger after he personally apologized to Valerie Jarrett for the racist Roseanne tweet and canceled her hit sitcom. ABC’s Brian Ross reported in December that Trump had instructed his adviser Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officers in the course of the marketing campaign, which might have fueled the collusion argument (and the inventory market did drop a number of hundred factors). The reality was the Flynn had been requested to do that after the election, when such contacts can be routine for an incoming administration.
The scorecard: This was a really unhealthy mistake. However regardless of Trump’s assertion, ABC apologized for the story, issued a full retraction and suspended Brian Ross for a month with out pay. What’s extra, Ross was transferred to a lower-profile job the place he doesn’t cope with White Home politics.
The tweet: “The Failing and Corrupt @nytimes estimated the gang final night time at ‘1000 folks,’ when the truth is it was many instances that quantity – and the sector was rockin’. That is the best way they demean and disparage. They’re very dishonest individuals who don’t ‘get’ me, and by no means did!”
The context: The Occasions did report from a Nashville rally this week that a couple of thousand of us had proven up. Trump typically accuses the media of underestimating his crowd dimension, a dispute that famously dates again to Inauguration Day.
The scorecard: The president is correct on the information, and the paper ran a correction.
The writer, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, tweeted: “President @realDonaldTrump is right about his crowd final night time. My estimate was means off, and we’ve corrected our story to replicate the hearth marshal’s estimate of 5,500 folks. After we get it unsuitable, we are saying so.”
So: Some hits, some overstatements, some misses, one other day on the digital workplace within the persevering with warfare with the media. And all of it’s pink meat for Trump’s 52 million Twitter followers.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox Information analyst and the host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 a.m.). He’s the writer “Media Insanity: Donald Trump, The Press and the Warfare Over the Reality.” Comply with him at @HowardKurtz. Click on right here for extra info on Howard Kurtz.